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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sasha Welland
WOMEN 446
Seattle Campus

Global Asia

Explores how Asia has been constructed through transnational interactions such as imperialism, anti-colonialism, tourism, diaspora, and global capitalism. Topics include the cultural construction of similarity and difference, politics of representation, and political economy of global circulations of people and things. Prerequisite: one 200-level ANTH course. Offered: jointly with ANTH 442/SISA 442; W.

Class description

Using a feminist analytic, explores how Asia has been constructed through gendered, transnational interactions, including imperialism, tourism, and globalization. Topics include the cultural construction of similarity and difference, politics of representation, and political economy of global circulations. Cross-listed as ANTH 442, SISA 442, and WOMEN 446.

Student learning goals

To understand how shifting ideas of Asia and its place in the world have been constructed through a variety of global interactions; and to understand the gendered dimensions of these interactions.

To examine what globalization, in terms of historical and contemporary movements and cultural encounters, means to different social actors in Asia.

To analyze how boundaries--in terms of intersecting categories such as race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, and sexuality--are made, maintained, and modified through everyday, sociocultural practices and how these boundaries support particular power relations.

To engage in a deep and sustained interdisciplinary conversation that will challenge all of our ways of approaching the question of what Global Asia means.

To develop creative, innovative academic work, including a class-produced compendium of keywords related to Global Asia, that will expand ways of understanding the historical and contemporary implications of Asia’s role in processes of globalization.

General method of instruction

This is a seminar course, with mini-lectures by the instructor at the beginning of each class meeting, to be followed by in-depth, seminar-style discussion. Guiding questions are listed throughout the syllabus to suggest where our class discussions will begin.

Recommended preparation

One 200-level ANTH course. THIS IS AN UPPER-LEVEL COURSE FOR ANTHROPOLOGY, ASIAN STUDIES, AND WOMEN STUDIES MAJORS. GRADUATE STUDENTS WELCOME.

Class assignments and grading

Class Participation: Active participation in each class session is a requirement of this course. As a result, missing more than two classes will seriously harm evaluation of your performance. Your class participation grade is based on your preparation for and contribution to in-class activities and discussion, and is judged not by the quantity of your comments but by their quality. This means that the more time you spend reading and thinking about the issues in the readings, the better your grade will be.

Short Reflection Papers: Two short reflection papers (2-3 pages each) at the beginning of the quarter will serve to immerse you in the themes and questions of the course. Handouts with prompts for each short paper will be distributed one week in advance. These papers will be graded as follows: 40 points (distinguished); 30 points (good); 20 points (fair); 10 (turned-in, but poor effort).

Midterm Paper: You will write a short essay (5 pages) in response to questions that will be distributed one week in advance.

Keyword Entry: You will craft a keyword entry (1-2 pages) for our class-produced Global Asia Illustrated Compendium of Keywords, a cumulative collection of the vocabulary we have been building in relation to course concepts, questions, and debates. Keywords are sites of conflict and disagreement, so your entry should reflect two or more different understandings of the world-making term whose histories, usages, and political trajectories you choose to chart. You will be encouraged to be as creative, erudite, pithy, or eccentric as you like in your keyword choice, and to include diagrams, pictures, quotations, or stories that help illuminate the sociocultural life of your keyword. You should pick a keyword related to the topic you want to research and explore further in your final paper; in this way, your entry will provide you with a roadmap of sorts for the final paper. A handout with prompts and examples for this assignment will be distributed and discussed in class. You will submit a first draft of your entry, receive feedback from your classmates, and then submit a final, revised entry to complete the full assignment. Both your draft and revision will be graded as follows: 40 points (distinguished); 30 points (good); 20 points (fair); 10 (turned-in, but poor effort). An on-line submission system, linked to the course website, is under development so that you can post your entries electronically, making the full compendium viewable to everyone in the class.

Final Paper: A final 10-page paper is required. As suggested above, the keyword entry assignment will help you identify a topic and set of questions that you want to research and explore further in this paper. You may choose to research and critically examine a specific aspect of Global Asia, to investigate critical theoretical issues through course and related readings, or to analyze a particular historical or anthropological cultural encounter, but you will be expected to make full use of course concepts and readings in your analysis. I will be available to work with students on paper outlines and ideas through Weeks 8 and 9. During Week 10 students will give short in-class presentations on how they are expanding their keyword entries into research projects to receive further feedback from other students. You cannot pass the class if you do not complete the final paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course website
Last Update by Sasha Welland
Date: 04/06/2008